There are some frequently asked questions about teeth that continue to cause confusion for consumers and that we would therefore like to clarify in this article. Let’s get started:

5 Frequently Asked Questions about Teeth

1.- What are teeth and how many teeth do we have?

partes del dienteTeeth are structures made up of hard and soft tissues. The hard ones are the enamel, the dentine and the cement, while the pulp is the soft one. The outermost part, the visible part, is the enamel, the hardest and most mineralized tissue of the organism.

There are two types of dentition: the primary or infantile one composed of 20 teeth and the definitive or adult one composed of 32 teeth. In its evolution, this double dentition presents three different periods due to the eruption and progressive reabsorption of the two dentitions. The primary period coincides with the temporary or infantile dentition (6 months to 6 years), the definitive period is the one in which the dental arches are totally formed by permanent dentition (from 12 years onwards), and the mixed period is the intermediate one, in which we have in the buccal cavity teeth corresponding to both dentitions (6 years to 12 years).

2.- When does the dental eruption take place?

Dental eruption begins at 6 months of age, when the first teeth appear, usually causing discomfort and increased salivation in children, and ends around 24 months. A few years later, at the age of 6-7, the permanent dentition begins to form progressively, up to a period between 18-25 years when the wisdom teeth erupt.

3.- What is caries?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines caries as: “a localized process of multifactorial origin that begins after a tooth eruption, determined by the softening of the hard tissue of the tooth and evolves to the formation of a cavity”. Caries is an infectious disease of microbial origin that affects teeth; microorganisms present in dental plaque (mainly Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus) metabolize ingested sugars that have remained in the mouth, and produce organic acids that demineralize the enamel causing a partial or even total loss of it.

4.- What is the natural evolution of dental caries?

The natural evolution of a cavity, being a destructive process, can affect all the structures of the dental organ, even causing the death of the tooth. This process can extend to structures close to the affected tooth, causing the loss of adjacent teeth and even infections such as severe periodontitis or cellulitis.

5.- What is the relationship between cavities and pregnancy?

It can be said that during pregnancy there is a greater risk of caries, due to indirect factors among which we highlight:

  • Possible neglect of oral hygiene habits
  • Increased consumption of foods rich in sugars and derivatives
  • Modification of saliva composition
  • The appearance of vomiting that increases the acidity of the mouth weakening the enamel (mainly during the first weeks).

In Laboratorios KIN, answering these 5 frequently asked questions about teeth, we hope to have resolved some doubts as well as emphasizing the importance of tooth decay prevention for health.

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Chimenos Küstner, E; López López, J (2009). Oral Health: 100 most frequently asked questions. EDIMSA. 
Solarana Herrería, T. Guide not to get lost in the dentist: dental hygiene tips. Clínica Bucodental Solarana y García.